Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota on Friday called County Executive Steve Bellone’s allegations of impropriety and misconduct in the DA’s office “baseless” and a vendetta in retaliation for his refusal to stop criminal investigations of Mr. Bellone’s friend and former campaign treasurer, Donald Rodgers of Centereach. Mr. Rodgers pleaded guilty nearly two years ago to official misconduct and filing a false instrument charges.
“I have never said it before, but I’ll say it now. The county executive has made and did make in the past, multiple personal pleas to me in the presence of other prosecutors, not to investigate or prosecute people that he was close to,” Mr. Spota said in a release.
The investigation into Mr. Rodgers was opened in November 2013 in response to information sent to the district attorney’s office by whistleblowers in the county’s Information Technology department, the release said.
Mr. Spota fired back after Mr. Bellone on Thursday held a press conference outside Mr. Spota’s Hauppauge office, calling for him to step down, and charging that he was running a “criminal enterprise.”
Bellone says his actions were inspired by recent reports of alleged political corruption in the district attorney’s office.
“Tom Spota, you must resign from this office so we can begin the process of reforming this place governmentally and politically in a way to ensure this never happens again,” Mr. Bellone said, adding he would call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to remove the DA from office if he did not voluntarily resign.